Investigators are examining “various” lines of inquiry into the death of Erosi Kitsmarishvili and it would be premature at this stage to make any hasty conclusion that it was “either a murder, suicide or an accident,” prosecutor Konstantine Katsitadze said on July 16.
On Wednesday evening a written statement was released by the Kitsmarishvili family saying that they do not believe it was a suicide.
“The family is appalled by this tragedy, which was completely unexpected and shocking for us. It is very difficult for us to find any explanation to this fact. Erosi had always been energetic and active character and had been thinking about implementing number of projects lately. Therefore, the family disagrees the version of suicide and is waiting for the conclusion of the investigation,” reads the statement.
Prosecutor’s office said that the investigative team, consisting of prosecutors and officers from the Interior Ministry, “is working very actively.”
“Upon the request from the family, an independent expert Maia Nikoleishvili has been involved in the forensic examination,” prosecutor Konstantine Katsitadze told journalists. “Prosecutor’s office will give her [an independent forensic expert] all the means that will allow her to take a full-fledged participation in the examination; copies of all the case files will be handed over to her.”
Nikoleishvili told journalists earlier on July 15 that Kitsmarishvili died of a single gunshot wound. She said that Kitsmarishvili had perforating wound with bullet entering from his right temple. It was a point-blank shot, she said.
Prosecutor Katsitadze said that a formal investigation was launched under the clause of criminal code, which deals with suicide, immediately after Kitsmarishvili was found dead in his car, parked in garage of an apartment block he lived in.
The prosecutor said that this initial qualification was based on evidence available on the scene immediately after the dead body was found and the case may be re-qualified in the process of the investigation as more details emerge.
He confirmed that CZ pistol, which according to prosecutor’s office was registered by Kitsmarishvili in his name earlier on the same day, July 15, was found on the scene.
Investigators think it may be the gun from which the shot was fired, but prosecutor Katsitadze said it is up to ballistics experts to give final confirmation after the examination.
He said that investigators are also reviewing footage from number of CCTV cameras.
Surveillance cameras are installed in the garage, as well as on the apartment block and nearby buildings and also in a shop where prosecutors say Kitsmarishvili bought CZ pistol.
Prosecutor Katsitadze said that not all the CCTV cameras, which are of investigators interest, were storing recorded footage. He, however, was not able at this stage to specify whether footage from CCTV camera from the garage, where Kitsmarishvili was found dead, was available or not.
He said that the prosecutor’s office will release updates for the public as more details emerge in the process of investigation.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili has called on the law enforcement agencies to investigate Kitsmarishvili’s death as soon as possible and described it as “horrendous murder.”
Energy Minister and deputy PM, Kakha Kaladze, said that President Margvelashvili’s remarks were “incomprehensible” for him as investigation is still ongoing and it has not yet found out whether it was a murder or not.
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